Durand at the Carnegie

If you’ve been to the Carnegie Museum of Art recently, you may have noticed some new items in the galleries. Among these is a painting by Asher B. Durand. This kind of landscape painting may be out of fashion, but the thing about Hudson River Paintings, you know a good one as soon as you see it. You also are greeted with an immediate sense of confidence the United States (or artists) hasn’t known for some time. Few painters since have been this sure of themselves and the world or celebrated it with such clarity. At the time of creation, the United States was far from being a world power, hadn’t known the civil war and could focus all of her energy on building the nation. Unfortunately this meant cutting down the trees and a changing landscape that made scenes like this one fade like passing frames in a film. Hudson River painters like Durand would celebrate nature, humans in nature, and the natural wildness as a feature which distinguished our continent from that of Europe.

…and there’s still a week or so to make the trip to Washington DC to see Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape More new items at the Carnegie

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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